Skip to main content

Search NYU Steinhardt

MM in Music Technology Curriculum and Requirements

Required classes

Degree Requirement: 40-45 credits

Degree Requirement: The program is structured for two years, full-time study. 40 credits (plus 0-9 credits may be needed, see Placement Exams)*

All core courses (those listed #1-8 below) must be completed with a grade C or higher. A grade lower than C must be repeated.

  1. MPATE-GE 2600-Graduate Seminar
  2. MPATE-GE 2599-Fundamentals of Digital Signal Theory
    MPATE-GE 2598-Fundamentals of Digital Signal Theory I Lab
  3. MPATE-GE 2036-Advanced Musical Acoustics
  4. MPATE-GE 2047-Advanced Computer Music Composition
  5. MPATE-GE 2601-Colloquy (thesis preparation, lit review, proposal)
  6. MPATE-GE 2602-Thesis 1 (work on thesis methods, procedures, conclusions, draft)
  7. MPATE-GE 2603-Thesis 2 (work on defense, revisions, presentation)
  8. Performance Ensemble Requirement (see more information below)

Performance Requirement

Each student is required to complete a performance requirement which consists of a music class involving performance. This may be taken in the form of an ensemble course for 0-3 credits. Please note that classes in private instruction do not count toward the performance requirement.

Options include:
MPATE-GE 2609-Electronic Music Performance
MPATE-GE 2031-Distributed Performance
MPATE-GE 2633-Multi-channel Media Installation Performance
Or taking an ensemble course by audition for 1 credit.

To register, students will need to email the appropriate coordinating director of those specific ensembles.
Detailed course information can be found in the Courses section.
If you are a current student and have questions for advisement, check here first (password protected). 

Music Technology, Theory and History placement exam

Basic competence in music technology, history, and theory is a prerequisite for all graduate students in the program. Entering graduate students are required to take advisory exams in these areas. You must take the placement exams before beginning your first semester. The music technology, history, and theory placement exams can only be taken once. If you do not pass, you will be required to take remedial classes (up to a maximum of 9 credits) to fulfill the requirements. These classes and credits will not count toward your degree. See more information on music theory and history placement exams. See more information on music history and theory placement exams.

Based on placement results, you may need:
MPATE-GE 2590 Intro to Music Technology
MPATC-UE 18 Basic Musicianship I
MPATC-UE 19 Basic Musicianship II
MPATC-GE 2930 Review of Tonal Theory I
MPATC-GE 2931 Review of Tonal Theory II

Music History option, choose one:
MPATC-UE 1067 Music History I Medieval & Renaissance
MPATC-UE 1068 Music History II Baroque & Classical
MPATC-UE 1077 Music History III 19th Century
MPATC-UE 1078 Music History IV 20th Century
MPATC-GE 2472 Music Lit of the 20 Cent: Sound, Music, Tech 1900-Present* (This History course does count towards Guided Elective credits as well).

Master's Thesis

The master’s program culminates with the submission and defense of an individual thesis document, to be completed under the supervision of one of the full-time Music Technology faculty members. The thesis should reflect an original contribution to the field of music technology, bringing the students’ classwork experiences and interests together with their potential career paths. Possible research areas include but are not limited to: technology-based performance and composition techniques, interactive music systems, spatial audio, tools for computer music, music information retrieval, digital audio effects, new recording, mixing, mastering, or production techniques, software development for music applications, etc.
Proposal: During the second semester, students enroll in MPATE-GE 2601 – Colloquy, where they are required to (1) identify a thesis adviser from amongst the full-time Music Technology faculty, (2) discuss ideas for their work and following review and approval by the faculty adviser, (3) submit a 2-page proposal containing: thesis title, brief introduction to the topic, motivations, goal and general work plan.
Thesis Draft: Once this proposal is approved, students begin on the project and enroll in the MPATE-GE 2602 to prepare the thesis, as well as discuss research methodologies and current literature in the field. Students should schedule regular meetings with their advisor.

Thesis Final Draft: In the student’s final semester, they will enroll in MPATE-GE 2603 – to finalize their thesis, make revisions and work on their presentation for defense. The thesis itself should be approximately 60 pages long, documenting the idea’s purpose and development, and its musical, aesthetic and technical implications. This document, to be completed by the end of the final year of studies, will be evaluated using the standard criteria for scholarly work. All sources for quotations and paraphrases must be documented. You may use any of the standard citation styles (MLA, Chicago, etc.), subject to your thesis adviser’s approval, provided you consistently follow a single style throughout the thesis. Creative graphics are encouraged to enhance the presentation’s visual impact. The title page should show the thesis title and the student name within the top half to two-thirds of the page. The bottom portion of the page should contain the following:

Submitted in partial fulfillment of the requirements for the

Master of Music in Music Technology
in the Department of Music and Performing Arts Professions
in The Steinhardt School
New York University
Adviser: The Name Of Your Adviser
Reader: The Name Of Your Second Reader

Oral Defense and Approval: After completing the document, students will submit copies of the thesis to both adviser and second reader and schedule a date for a public oral presentation, where the work is to be demonstrated and defended. Before this defense, students will secure a Thesis Approval Form from The Office of Graduate Studies, 82 Washington Square East, 2nd Floor, available here: Master's Thesis Approval Form

Upon successful completion of this defense, the student will submit two (2) printed copies, and one digital copy (as a .pdf) of the finished document (including any amendments or suggestions resulting from the defense process) to the Music Technology Advisement Office. Additionally, the Thesis Approval Form will be completed and signed by the thesis adviser and second reader, then filed in the Registrar’s office. Please note that the Registrar's Office requires this form to be signed before approving the student’s graduation.